Beijing Signals Talks at Early Stage as Trump Vents Frustration



Bloomberg News

When it comes to Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural goods, signs are growing that President Donald Trump won’t get what he wants anytime soon.

Trump complained Thursday that China hasn’t boosted its purchases of U.S. farm products, a promise he claims he secured in a meeting with his counterpart Xi Jinping in June. But according to officials in Beijing familiar with the talks, no such agreement was made. China’s Commerce Ministry yesterday also indicated that in their view, substantial discussions have yet to restart even though both sides spoke on the phone.

China has started preparing to buy farm products, including gauging the prices of U.S. soybeans, but will not purchase large amounts until it sees concrete progress in the negotiations, a person familiar with the matter said Friday. Small purchases could happen before that, the person said.

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